Morning Movers (CEP, NKTR, VOCS, SODA, CZR)

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The three major US equities indexes opened higher this morning following a better-than-expected report on US GDP growth (our coverage here) and the $712 billion purchase by eurozone banks in the European Central Bank’s latest — and last — long-term refinancing operation (more covereage here). Crude oil prices are also higher on the news. In the first half hour of trading, the DJIA is up about 43 points at around 13,048, the Nasdaq Composite is up more than 12 points at around 2,999, and the S&P 500 is up nearly 5 points at around 1,377.

There are several stocks trading more heavily than usual this morning, and also experiencing large gains or drops in share prices. These include the Constellation Energy Partners LLC (AMEX: CEP), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR), Vocus Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS), SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA), and Ceasar’s Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR).

Constellation is up nearly 17% at $2.99. Volume is already nearly double the daily average of about 57,000 shares traded. The natural gas producer beat estimates this morning.

Nektar is up about 11% at $7.46. Volume is already about equal to the daily average of 1.27 million shares traded. The drug maker has sold royalty rights to two of its products for $124 million.

Vocus is down nearly -38% at $14.07 after posting a new 52-week low of $13.10 earlier. Volume is already about 15x the daily average of around 160,000 shares traded. The marketing and public relations software maker has acquired privately held iContact for $169 million in cash and stock.

SodaStream is down more than -16% at $39.78. Volume is already 5x the daily average of around 1.2 million shares traded. The beverage equipment maker reported what appear to be good earnings today. More coverage here.

Ceasar’s is up more than 5% at $11.43. Volume is already about a third of the daily average of around 1.6 million shares traded. The casino company provided its first quarterly report this morning, showing revenues had risen, but with a net loss of -$1.76/share.

Paul Ausick